The home of the future has arrived, thanks in large part to state-of-the-art automation accessories. These “smart” devices can transform an ordinary house into one with improved energy efficiency, safety, and privacy (while making daily tasks a lot more convenient and fun). From controlling your home’s temperature, lighting, and security system, to making it all work together with just a simple voice command, here’s a look at five must-have smart home accessories. 1. Motorized Window Treatments
Smart window treatments allow you to open and close your motorized blinds or shades from your mobile device, a touch screen or keypad on the wall, or program them to open and shut on a schedule.
Automated window treatments can make a world of difference, particularly for homeowners who want to reduce their heating and cooling bills. Set your shades to block out the sun on a sweltering summer day, or open them to let the sun shine in, naturally heating your home in the winter, all while you’re away at work.
There is no need to sacrifice your distinct sense of style with automated window shades, either. You can choose from a broad array of motorized blinds and shades in colors and fabrics to complement and enhance your house's appearance. 2. Thermostats
A smart thermostat helps you keep your house at the optimal temperature, while using only the necessary energy. While a regular thermostat allows you to manually adjust the temperature of your home, a smart thermostat can deliver the right level of comfort with advanced presets and scheduling, It can also respond with the seasons or the humidity within your home.
Additionally, with a smart thermostat, you can manage your house's temperature remotely, warming up the house before you arrive home or setting it to “Vacation” mode while you’re away. It may even lower your annual energy bills and help to reduce your carbon footprint. 3. Door Locks
Ever worry that you forgot to lock the front door when you left the house? With smart locks, you can put this worry to rest.
A smart lock frequently complements a traditional front door deadbolt. It enables you to unlock your front door without a key, lock and unlock it remotely, as well as receive alerts about who is entering and exiting your home.
Let's not forget about the home protection that a smart lock provides, either. A smart lock can be paired with a video surveillance camera and security system to deliver continuous home monitoring. 4. Smart Lights
Smart lights give you additional control over your home lighting and may even help you sleep better at night.
Like many smart devices, your lights can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. And if you happen to have a Control4 smart home, you can even control the lights using a dedicated touch screen, keypads on the wall that replace traditional switches and dimmers, or even the TV remote! Smart lighting is customizable, and you can configure certain lights to automatically turn on or off based on the time of day, on a schedule, or activate lighting “scenes” based on certain moods and activities in your home (cooking, dining, parties, etc.).
If you have trouble sleeping, smart lighting may even help you get the Z's you need, as well. With color changing bulbs, you can find a perfect color and temperature that mimics natural lights and calming hues. Then, have the lights gradually decrease in illumination throughout the evening to prepare your eyes for bed. 5. Voice Control Assistant
Imagine what it would be like if you could control all of your smart home devices with a single accessory. Today, voice control is making this dream a reality for homeowners.
Think of a voice control device as your very own personal assistant. The system responds to your voice commands, making it easy to do anything from order groceries to schedule appointments.
Voice control is also proving to be exceedingly valuable to users with disabilities, helping them accomplish many home tasks that they otherwise would be unable to complete on their own, like controlling the lights, thermostat, security system, and window treatments.
All of these smart home features can be connected and integrated, too. When they’re all integrated into a fully-automated smart home, like a system from Control4, you can manage your home’s most vital functions from many convenient interfaces, making the home of the future your home of today. Katie Laird is the Director of Social Marketing for Blinds.com and a passionate home decorator for her family with a love of all things Mid-Century Modern and blue. View the wide selection of window shades at Blinds.com and discover how you can transform your home into a smart home.